The regulation of so-called transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber, Lyft, Get Me, and Bid my Ride is the subject of heated debate across San Antonio.

Some believe that TNCs should abide by the same regulations used for the traditional vehicle for hire industry, which includes mandated fingerprint background checks on drivers.

A nine-month pilot agreement between the City and rideshare companies operating in San Antonio makes those fingerprint background checks optional, but TNCs require that all drivers take third-party, multi-district background checks.

(Read more: Citizens Sound Off on Fate of Rideshare in San Antonio)

Some of those in the vehicle for hire industry – which includes taxicabs, limousines, tours, charters, horse-drawn carriages and pedicabs – have pushed to “level the playing field” when it comes to regulations to make the local transportation market fair.

Rideshare companies Lyft and Uber recently ceased operations in Austin after voters rejected a measure to do away with fingerprint background checks. Some rideshare supporters worry that the same could happen in San Antonio.

Over the next few months, the City will reassess the pilot agreement and gather public input to determine the future of rideshare in San Antonio.

The City will host another “rideshare roundtable” on Wednesday, June 1 from 5:30-7 p.m. at TriPoint YMCA Grantham Hall, 3233 N. St Mary’s. Residents are also encouraged to participate in the online survey at

Image ©John Branch for the Rivard Report, 2016.


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John Branch

Cartoonist John Branch has commented on San Antonio and Texas politics for decades; his work is syndicated nationally by King Features.